Ryan Babel slams Rafa Benítez for broken promises at Liverpool | inside World Soccer

Ryan Babel slams Rafa Benítez for broken promises at Liverpool

Thursday, November 2, 2017

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Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has blamed Rafa Benítez for not helping him enough at a crucial age for development.

Babel, now at Beşiktaş, was given his debut by Ronald Koeman at Ajax Amsterdam at the age of 17 and joined Liverpool three years later, along with his reputation as one of the most exciting young attackers in Europe.

Although he made 91 appearances over his four years at Anfield, Babel never seemed entirely settled and became an unfortunate symbol of the frustrations of the tail end of Benítez's reign.

Speaking in an interview with The Independent, the Dutchman candidly discussed his disappointment in the time he spent playing under Benítez.

He promised me certain things at this time to help me develop which I thought was the same as Ajax but at a different pace.

But from the start I felt basically left out, by myself, no help and that was of course very difficult for a 20 year old.

I had really to become an adult very quick and adapt. It was up and down but at the same time I had a great experience there. I learnt a lot.

When I look back I could have done things differently but at the same time I also think I could have got more guidance from the coaches.

Despite showing ability in short spells or fleeting appearances, he never became an automatic starter and was ultimately a figure fans found frustrating.

It was difficult because when I was at Ajax I was living in my parents' home. This was my first time going abroad and also living by myself. The adaptation... every day was a new surprise.

I soon figured that in the Premier League they call you a flop very quick.

I wish I just had more help to adapt and improve that. By the third year, fourth year it was too late and people called me lazy, all kinds of names.

For a 20 year old the gap from Holland to England is massive. That's a fact. Not all players are able to settle in directly from day one.

I remember even (Robin) van Persie needed two, three years but he became van Persie. The difference is I think (Arsène) Wenger actually helped him develop and gave him time.

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